Improving Postpartum Hospital Discharge EducationTexas Children's Health Plan
In September 2018, the Texas Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force released its latest report on deaths occurring during pregnancy and up to 1 year following the end of pregnancy. Approximately 20% of maternal deaths occurred while the mother was pregnant or during the first 7 days after delivery! Detailed maternal death case reviews revealed that “inadequate knowledge and lack of early recognition of postpartum complication signs frequently contributed to death.”1
Recommendations by the Task Force included that improvements be made in postpartum care management and discharge education for patients and families. Specifically, the Task Force recommended that discharge instructions address warning signs of postpartum complications.1
AWHONN (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses) has developed a standard approach to discharge education tools. The program includes online education on maternal mortality and morbidity and how to deliver consistent messages about warning signs that can signal serious complications. Information about the educational program and an implementation toolkit can be accessed at https://www.awhonn.org/page/POSTBIRTH .
Empowering mothers with the knowledge to seek timely postpartum care can make the difference between life and death.
Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force and Department of State Health Services Joint Biennial Report, September 2018. Available at: https://www.dshs.texas.gov/mch/maternal_mortality_and_morbidity.shtm